Lilies forum: Starting lilies from seeds

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Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 12, 2012 7:30 PM CST

Moderator

I just may end up getting rid of the few lilies left in the bed by the greenhouse, the GH-As. I need room for a kazillion seedlings:

Overview:
Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/3d980c

Tracey's generous donation of her cross Sinfonia (strain) X Angel Gabriel; probably my huskiest seedlings:
Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/c23673

My Lilium henryi var. citrinums croaked but fortunately I had back up seed in the freezer:
Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/a66606

Here is a seed grown trumpet I have had for years but don't recall seeing it the last couple of years, so it's back!
Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/c89bec Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/499352
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 12, 2012 7:37 PM CST
Connie can you explain your baggie system for seedlings, I've not seen or heard of that and am curious how and why you do it like that.I can see it really works for you.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 12, 2012 8:04 PM CST

Moderator

This year I used oversized sandwich bags, 7 inches by 8 inches. I nip off the bottom corners for drainage as well as make three small cuts evenly spaced along the bottom. I add some of this to each baggie and add a pinch of osmocote type slow release fertilizer and mix it in. Then add more mix on top so the whole is about half the height of the baggie. Firm the soil well, then plant up to 12 seeds per bag. They tend to thin themselves out by attrition, which is good. Survival of the best, fittest.

I can fit four to five of these in a plastic shoebox. I have nine of these boxes in progress now under lights, as you can see. I do it this way because I otherwise don't have room to start this many in individual pots. And they are very easy to handle. Come fall, I can cut away the baggie and place the "plug" into a larger container, probably one gallon, without disturbing the roots much. If the bulblets are big enough, they might go out to a seedling bed if I can find the room. I think Tracey's may be big enough.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 13, 2012 4:12 AM CST
" I add some of this to each baggie and add a pinch of osmocote type slow release fertilizer " What is this? Obviously it's the planting medium but you don't say what you use. It looks like a milled sphagnum based medium with additives.
In any case your seedlings look so much stronger than mine that are in pots. I haven't used osmocote and am a little hesitant on feeding such small seedlings.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 13, 2012 8:52 AM CST

Moderator

Duh see what happens when I cut and paste parts of a sentence around... This year I used Black Gold potting mix but I further amend it first. In a large pyrex bowl I add some extra pumice and sand, wet it well and microwave for about 12 minutes. Microwaving helps distribute the moisture throughout as well as sanitizes the potting mix.

The main mistake (experiment) I made this time was to top it all off in each baggie with about one half inch of seed starting mix which is just finely milled sphagnum peat moss. This stuff turned crusty when dry and was difficult to re-wet. I'll skip that next time around.

I too was hesitant about adding osmocote mainly because there is also a small amount of fertilizer in the potting mix. But that is why I mixed it into just the lower portion of the baggie.

I have the same experience when doing baggie vs pot. The baggie seedlings shoot ahead fast, maybe because they like crowding in the beginning. For me they are certainly easier to handle in baggies and I can get many more under lights due to their smaller size and flexibility. But another reason why mine may look stronger than yours is that many of my crosses are tetraploids.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 13, 2012 1:06 PM CST
Some of the seed I have are from tets. too but they don't seem to be doing any better than diploids are.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 13, 2012 1:52 PM CST

Moderator

When did you start them? The tet Sinfonia cross above was started on January 21 and showed germination on February 9, so is about five months along now.

This baggie is the only diploid seed I started this year, germinated on Feb. 29, about twenty days after the tet Sinfonia cross came up.

Almost all seeds germinated and they really seem to like the crowding at this stage; I don't know why but I have even heard some of the experts say that too. Containers that have few seeds germinate seem to move forward a lot slower, even in the baggies. But who knows... if few seeds germinate maybe it is just a lousy cross and even the survivors are doomed to languish.
Thumb of 2012-07-13/pardalinum/5c33a3

Moving on... are you fertilizing?
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 13, 2012 5:32 PM CST
That would explain the difference! I got the seeds from the NALS seed exchange so they weren't started till much later than yours. I have some seedlings from Cascade that were started in Feb. that are much farther along. Do you plant your seedlings out the first fall after sowing them? This is the first time I've ever grown lilies from seed and they just don't seem like they would be ready to survive a winter outdoors.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 13, 2012 6:05 PM CST

Moderator

Yeah, by the time I get my NALS seeds I'm tired of starting seeds so they just go into the freezer until the next year (or longer).

I think most if not all of my seedlings will just go into larger pots until fall 2013. By then maybe a few more seedlings will voluntarily cull them selves; that would help reduce the number. I don't have the garden room now and will have to cull a lot of what is out there too. Using the baggie method I can cut away the plastic and gently work them into gallon containers. Might have to split to two containers with those "overly successful" germinations.

Since I am in zone 8, I really can't answer about transferring them outside the first year. I know a lot of people here are in lower zones than me so hopefully they will chime in.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 13, 2012 6:25 PM CST
"Moving on... are you fertilizing?"

I am using a weak solution (about 1/4 strength) of liquid fertilizer now .
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 13, 2012 7:38 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds good. I started using about 1/8 strength liquid 20-20-20 about two weeks because even though there is osmocote I was starting to see some lightening of the green leaves. They look great now. By using baggies in plastic shoe boxes I just add the fertilizer at the bottom where it can seep into those slits I cut.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 13, 2012 7:44 PM CST
I think I might give your method a try next time I start some seeds. I think it would be a lot more manageable than the 40 pots I'm working with now.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 13, 2012 8:38 PM CST

Moderator

Just a couple more things... I don't put them under lights until after they germinate. Also, I use bamboo skewers cut in half to hold the baggies open. They can be see in the photos.

I have the lights set for 16 hours on, 8 hours off; a small fan is also plugged into the timer system. My lights are 8 foot T8s, 2750 lumens, color temperature 6500K. They seem to work OK for this sort of thing.

I'll probably think of others things I forgot but feel free to ask any additional questions.
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
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gwhizz
Jul 14, 2012 4:11 AM CST
Connie, not being nosy, but, 'what are your power supply prices like there' ?:confused:
also, do you have to pay for water? Confused
Since the 1 of July, 'Tasmania-the natural state,which sends 95% of its drinking water , out to sea' homeowners have had to pay 90 c per 1000 litres of water., on top of water and sewerage rates and council rates and any other sort of rates they wish to make up along the way!!!..with almost 20 % power supply rise in 2 yrs.,.,.,.,.,Its crippling, especially for the elderly,.,.,I've even had to cut down the cleaning of my parrot cages Angry and i no longer wash the cars unless necessary,.,. we sit in the dark at night, with the television on, [or this computer], have turned off the security lights outside- then wait for our next bill,..
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jul 14, 2012 11:50 AM CST

Moderator

Both power and water are expensive here. My town has one of the highest water rates in the state of Oregon. After doing a few conversions and calculations, our rate for water usage is $1.30AU per 1000 liters. Our water units are in cubit feet and one unit is 100 cubic feet (2833 liters). Then they add an additional flat rate that must be paid even if no water is used. Same with sewer rates, usage plus flat rate. When all is said and done and I use just one unit in a month, my bill is about $50AU per month.

Electricity is expensive too. Summer bills are around $75 or a bit more, with winter heating it can be close to $200/month if it gets very cold. Knowing the power usage (from the labeling) of the T8s, I can calculate the cost and that comes to $8.15 AU per month for that table of lily seedlings. Right now, $AU and $US are almost equal; $1.00AU = $1.02US.

I'll add that part of the charges on the electric and water bills goes to help low income people pay their bills.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
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magnolialover
Jul 14, 2012 7:53 PM CST

Moderator

Husky seedlings! Yeah! It will be nice to see how that cross looks at your house Smiling Maybe something pinkish and tetra, crossing my fingers.
Tracey
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
Plant and/or Seed Trader Hellebores Birds Seller of Garden Stuff Garden Art Cat Lover
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gwhizz
Jul 21, 2012 3:07 AM CST
I am trying this method in 'mid winter' Blinking now,., with Mike Norberrys Flugels and Buggys pink trumpets + a pink speciosum.,,.feeling good about it too!,.,.,.Lets Go Thumbs up
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Jul 21, 2012 4:28 AM CST
pardalinum said:Just a couple more things... I don't put them under lights until after they germinate. Also, I use bamboo skewers cut in half to hold the baggies open. They can be see in the photos.

I have the lights set for 16 hours on, 8 hours off; a small fan is also plugged into the timer system. My lights are 8 foot T8s, 2750 lumens, color temperature 6500K. They seem to work OK for this sort of thing.

I'll probably think of others things I forgot but feel free to ask any additional questions.


Where do you put them till they germinate? My seeds seem to germinate so sporadically that I'd have to put them there for a month with one seed before the rest wake up.
Name: Anthony Gloriosoides[ sure!]
Rosetta,Tasmania,Australia (Zone 7b)
idont havemuch-but ihave everything
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Australia Lilies Seed Starter Bulbs
Plant and/or Seed Trader Hellebores Birds Seller of Garden Stuff Garden Art Cat Lover
Image
gwhizz
Jul 21, 2012 4:32 AM CST
Mine are in the garage window,hanging from a bar.,.mid winter and at least 3 hrs of sun,.,and very warm in the garage Thumbs up
Yre up early Brian!
lily freaks are not geeks!
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Jul 21, 2012 5:40 AM CST
Hi Brian:

To me that means when the first two or three break the surface (the hair pin). That means the others are also sprouting and not far behind and tells me it's time to put them under lights. It is possible under a lighting setup to raise the surface temperature too high which can actually spoil the sprouting seeds. Some seed lots are more sensitive to temperature than others. Generally, I've found temperatures of 65' to 72' F work good for me. And, you'll find that in some seed lots sprouting time varies quite a bit from start to finish. I have one seed lot going now that just sprouted two more and they were planted on Mothers Day, May 13th. I don't keep mine inside under light for any longer than I have to. I already had several lots outside in dapled shade by the time this last lot was planted.

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